Teen Titans’ Deus Ex Machina Issue

Teen Titans ends its brief encounter with The Other, as they look to recoup their team and save their last member.

In the latest issue, we get emotional moments between Djinn and Robin as they look to make up with each other over what they’ve done. As The Other seeks a means to convince Robin through Djinn, Djinn in turn shows Robin a possible future, resulting in Robin’s decision to defeat The Other.

Shortly after, Roundhouse and the team show up to save the day by destroying The Other, getting his Necronomicon and Djinn’s ring; all rather conveniently. Which adds to the unfortunate aspect of this issue. Whereas in previous issues, we set up Crush dealing with her Dad’s mind control to The Other being the big bad, to Roundhouse dealing with betraying his team; this issue fixed all of those issues and it felt like the issues lasted no time at all.

When Robin fights The Other, the team shows up and The Other gets sent through a hole in the ground that crumbled. When Roundhouse shows up to save the team, Crush gets mad and pins him to a wall, and in that moment, her mind control wore off. When Roundhouse tries to apologize to the team for what he did, they forgive him instantly. Instead of spending a little more time building up the characters or villains or struggles that the team must overcome, everything seemed to solve itself within one issue. This quick and tidy conclusion made the overarching plotline feel rushed.

We had The Other built up as a big villain since the first issue, and yet they last for 2-3 issues and then nothing, no real fight or stakes. the team just happens to get what they need from The Other to save Djinn from what Roundhouse did, so the whole The Other moments felt for like a Deus Ex Machina moment for saving Djinn. With everything just coming together over one issue and no real stakes or growth, besides a moment with Damien and Djinn, this issue struggled to improve the story or characters, and felt more like an excuse to move the story along and get the full team back.

What was good about this issue was the growth we saw from Damien and Djinn. Their heart-to-heart moment in her prison was touching as the two reflect on what they’ve done. We also see a brief glimpse at The Other’s power and prowess in fighting when he displays clones of himself, with one getting the better of Damien and stabbing him in the back. This moment brought about a means to showcase some power, but the fight doesn’t really last, and instead we’re given a quick climax until The Other returns in a later issue. We also see that Damien somehow is okay after getting stabbed in the back, with no repercussions shown as the Team meets outside the building.

Overall, this issue did include some fun action panels and plot progression, but suffers from too much Deus Ex Machina moments and a lack of allowing characters to grow further and see the heroes overcome more in larger issues.

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